Thought I’d take a moment to answer the question I get asked most often about our zoo:
Can you can feed giraffes at the San Antonio Zoo?
Yes, Yes you can!!!
Starting March 7 of this year (2016), the walk up feeding station at the San Antonio Zoo is open.
You and your family can hand-feed the three male reticulated giraffes from the elevated feeding station at the San Antonio Zoo!
If you’ve been here in the past 5 years, you might be asking WHAT GIRAFFES?
I know, we were without them for quite awhile but thanks to one really cool little girl name Zoe who wrote a letter to the zoo back in 2010 and sent along $9.50 of her own money asking if the zoo would please get a new giraffe we’ve got giraffes!
That letter, spurred a huge pledge drive from our local community. That effort, plus a whole lot of awesome people since then have worked to facilitate moving the three beautiful male giraffes we have now — a father and his two sons from Brownsville, Tx to San Antonio.
The Zoo staff has been working with the giraffes since they arrived in November to get them acclimated to their new environment and ready to be fed by tiny hands all day. I’m happy to report the giraffes are stoked about this and want you to come and feed them!
Africa LIVE Savanna Exhibit – San Antonio Zoo
The Savanna Exhibit opened late last year and was designed to closely resemble there natural habitat and be a bit of an African oasis for the animals.Eventually it will become the home to several other animals including: zebras, antelope, emus, and lots of birds. Inside the Savanna there is a tall giraffe house (pictured above), a large roaming area for the animals, a recirculating pool of water that saves the zoo 300K gallons of water each year! complete with a small waterfall feature (pictured below), a limestone backdrop and a few trees. The large wooden deck was created so visitors could walk out over the top of the enclosure, but it also provides a great shaded area for the animals as well.
Step out onto the viewing area and have an unforgettable experience with your children. Get face to face with these cool creatures and see why they call giraffes the largest land animals in the world! Now, go one step further and feed them by hand!
*** I will update this post with a video us feeding the giraffes as soon as we get one!
Fun Fact: Did you know giraffes have huge black tongues?
Fun for the whole family
You can purchase 3 large romaine lettuce leaves from the adjacent Locknecks Bar & Grill for just $5.
While there is no age limit on who can feed these animals, you should be with your small child and help them when feeding these large animals. Animal Care Specialists will be there to answer questions, inform visitors and help you as needed.
Please note: the animals make up their own feeding times so as long as they are hungry you can feed them, but it is ultimately their call. Recommended feeding times will be posted daily
More info about the giraffes & the San Antonio Zoo
Our giraffes came to us from the Brownsville Zoo last year and will be renamed at an event later this month. I’ll update the post once we know the names! The after is approximately 8 years old and his sons are about 3-4 years old.
The San Antonio Zoo is a non-profit organization. One of the ways they raise money is by auctioning off the chance to name new animals. Last year San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker won the right to name the three lion cubs, also in the Africa Live expansion of the zoo.
He chose to name the cubs Tony P, Axelle and Josh after his own family.
What you can do to help this endangered species
There are less than 5,000 reticulated giraffes in the wild today, and many other giraffe species have far less numbers than that. It’s a serious issue.
As cities build up in Africa and people fence off and clear more land they take away the habitat of these roaming creatures and sometimes cut them off from their herds altogether. Giraffes can make a real mess in cities and on privately own lands. Something has to be done to figure out how we can work to keep these animals alive and give them designated areas to thrive.
The San Antonio Zoo has partnered with Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to help combat the population decline in Africa.
Zoo Visitors can donate their old GPS units and binoculars to be shipped to Africa to help monitor the giraffes movements and whereabouts.
To learn more about what you can do to help these amazing creatures in the wild
1. Read This
2. Donate Here
3. If you’re in San Antonio, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you visit Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and sign up for their Giraffe Ambassador Program (more on this once in a lifetime event to come!)